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Steve Lukather: Transition (Bassists: Lee Sklar, Tal Wilkenfeld, Nathan East, Renee Jones, John Pierce)

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Steve-LukatherRICK’S PICKS: Steve Lukather: Transition  (Mascot Records) / Bassists: Lee Sklar, Tal Wilkenfeld, Nathan East, Renee Jones, John Pierce

4-stars

 

 

The Album: Toto co-founder and session veteran Steve Lukather releases his seventh solo album, and it’s a gem. The man clearly has an innate ability to tap into a deep well of emotion and human experience, and it shows on all fronts: playing, composing and soul-bearing lyrics. Steve shoots for a far-reaching musical statement on Transition, and succeeds. The album is mostly a collaboration between Lukather and keyboardist CJ Vanston, who co-produced, engineered and mixed the project.

At times dark, and other times optimistic, Lukather’s range runs the gamut. There are brilliant lines throughout: “It’s never right when the life that you lead / Is nothing but a shadow on the wall / All the love and the blood that you leach / Will surely be the author of your fall”, he sings on “Creep Motel”. The masterful tune “Right The Wrong”, which could have come right out of the late-70’s Toto songbook, features one of the best muscial hooks ever, as Steve sings “We are the future and the past / We gotta make it last / Before it’s gone”. Another particularly notable tune is the Jeff Beck-ish title track, which appropriately features Tal Wilkenfeld on bass; mostly instrumental (the vocal enters at about 4 minutes in), the tune is, in itself, a series of musical transitions that alternates between odd-metered fusion and acoustic guitar over layered soundscapes, before settling into introspective lyrics about death after life. Steve ends the album with a short instrumental take on the Charlie Chaplin standard “Smile”, dedicating the song to his mother who passed away in 2010. His vocals throughout Transition are in fine shape, and his guitar playing is typically stellar.

The Bassists: Lee Sklar opens the album and plays on the first two cuts. He’s right in the pocket, as always, and even takes a nice– but mixed low– 8-bar solo on “Judgement Day”. As stated, Tal plays brilliantly on the track “Transition”. Other bassists on the album are John Pierce, who lends a rock solid low end to three tracks, Lukather’s touring bassist Renee Jones, who is perfectly understated on the ballad “Once Again”, and Nathan East, who nails the damn floor to the foundation on “Rest Of The World”.

Best Tracks: “Creep Motel”, “Right The Wrong”, “Transition”, “Rest Of The World”

 

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @meridian_guitars @mgbassguitars @utreraguitars @adamovicbasses @marleaux_bassguitars @str_guitars @foderaguitars @mauriziouberbasses @officialspector @normstockton

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Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @zonguitars @shukerbassguitars @bite.guitars @adamovicbasses @mayonesguitars @bassbros.uk @capursoguitars @overwaterbasses @saitiasguitars @ramabass.ok

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Gear News

New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

New from Elrick Bass Guitars, Headless Series added to Custom Lineup…

Elrick Bass Guitars is excited to announce the addition of a headless option on hand-carved series bass guitars. Initially previewed on the 2023 Gold Series SLC MkII bass of prolific solo bass practitioner and educator Steve Lawson, a headless bass option is now available to all. According the Elrick, “The excitement surrounding Steve’s MkII SLC bass at 2024 NAMM confirmed that the time is right to add a headless option to our extensive range of custom options.” To date, Elrick instruments have only been offered with traditional headstock construction but, in response to market demand, custom features will now include a headless option in 4-, 5- and 6-string models.

Headless bass guitars share these features with the traditional headstock series:

24 frets + zero fret
exotic wood top
hand-rubbed oil finish
2-way adjustable truss rod
custom Bartolini pickups
custom Bartolini 3-band preamp
fully shielded control cavity
Hipshot bridge
Dunlop Straploks
Elrick Fundamental strings

The headless option can now be selected when submitting custom order requests via the form on elrick.com, contacting the Elrick Sales Office directly, or working with your favorite Elrick dealer.

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Gear News

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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